Up until this point we’ve posted two Daily Teachings with similar titles; one on the subject of Bible-reading and one on the subject of prayer. In both of those cases the idea was the same: a little of either one is much, much better than…nothing. A little bit of Bible reading each day is far better than none. And likewise a little bit of prayer each day is far better than none. That, however, is not the case with worship. A little worship would not compromise true worship.
First, let me explain terms. When I say “worship” I don’t simply mean singing songs to God or extending thanksgiving to Him via the words of our mouths. Worship is more comprehensive than that. According to Romans 12:1, it is the offering up of one’s entire self to the service and glory of God. That is why denying self is so utterly essential to the Christian life. He who loves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life by offering it up as a living sacrifice will save it (Lk 9:24). Thus, when ‘self’ makes stealthy attempts to assume the throne, ‘self’ must be repudiated and continually offered to the service of the true king. Such is the gracious outworking of the faith that saves.
You can see why a little worship wouldn’t really be worship. If our ‘little worship’ is meant to ‘appease’ God so we can get on with what’s truly important; namely, ourselves and ‘our plans’ and ‘our goals’, etc., worship has become a ruse to placate a sinful conscience.
The Old Testament bears witness to this reality as well. In the opening chapter of Malachi, the LORD rebuked the priests for the polluted, half-hearted offerings that they were bringing before Him saying,
“A son honors his father, And a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’ You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 1:6-8 NKJV)
True worship is comprehensive in its scope. It will look like offering up to God the best of ourselves and not our leftovers. It will look like us thanking God and singing praise to Him. It will look like us loving others in Jesus’ name. It will look like repudiating self when self seems to be creeping towards the center of our esteem.
The idea is – our worship, though far from perfect, is not to be compartmentalized or pacified by placebos of religious practice. True worship is not ‘a little worship.’ It is the leveraging of all areas of our lives to the glory of God as we seek to perpetually place the best of us on the altar as a holy living sacrifice.